How To Install Windows Without An Optical Drive

Today, we are going to show you how to install Windows on a laptop or a computer that doesn’t have a CD or a DVD drive. As the installation media, we are going to use a USB flash drive with a storage of 16 GB. To make the USB flash drive bootable, we will be using a software called Rufus Portable.

Rufus is a free application which enables us to create bootable USB flash drives for Windows installation. It is a very useful tool, especially to install the operating system on laptops that do not have a DVD driver. The latest version of Rufus Portable is 3.8. When compared to the previous version of Rufus, this version is more stable. Now let’s do this. 

Rufus is a very light program. It is an open-source software and therefore it does not require installation. You can extract it to a folder and then simply delete it, or save it to some removable media. It is a really simple program to use since it hardly requires any configuration from your end. You can download Rufus from their website. If you have macOS, then you can use Etcher as an alternative. 

To create a bootable USB, you simply have to select the Windows ISO image that you’ve downloaded. If you haven’t download the Windows ISO file yet, you can get it from the Microsoft website. When you plug a USB flash drive into your computer, Rufus will automatically detect it and select it by default. So you do not have to select the USB flash drive manually. Once you click on “Start”, the process will begin.

It is important to mention that it will delete all the data from the USB flash drive. The process may take some time, especially if the Windows version is newer. Once finished, you will have your bootable USB flash drive ready to be used. I’ll briefly explain to you how to install Windows using this USB flash drive.

  1. First connect the USB, restart the computer and enter the BIOS settings of your computer. 
  2. Go to boot settings in your BIOS and put the USB drive as your first boot option.
  3. After that save the settings and exit, and once you restart your computer, the installation will begin.

The program only detects removable media, to avoid confusion and to accidentally delete data from an external hard drive. Before starting, check if the installation folder and the USB are correct. Not only for Windows, but Rufus can also make bootable USB flash drives to install almost any OS. You just need to have the correct ISO file and Rufus will do its job.